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Books of short stories. Recommendations please.

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Looking for recommendations for books of short stories. I’m a relative newcomer to reading (as a hobby/pass time), despite being in my 40s with quite a short attention span. 

Have just finished Andy K’s unknown pleasures and read Eiger Dreams a few years ago and really like the format for a bedtime read and when I don’t have the capacity for something more committing.

Climbing/adventure/outdoor related or not, what would people recommend?

Post edited at 10:04
 Tom Valentine 15 Jan 2022
In reply to BattyMilk:

Saki, or William Boyd.

 Oscar Popels 15 Jan 2022
In reply to BattyMilk:

Stanley Donwood (album artist for Radiohead) has produced a few books of short stories. All of which have rather dark/bizarre themes which are often funny. I really enjoyed "household worms". 

Post edited at 10:11
 alexm198 15 Jan 2022
In reply to BattyMilk:

Tides by Nick Bullock. Wonderful book. 

Also The Magician’s Glass by Ed Douglas. 
 

Post edited at 10:12
In reply to BattyMilk:

Nothing to do with climbing but I found Chuck Palahniuk's book "Haunted" a great collection of short stories set amongst an overarcing tale, they can be read individually or as a whole. His other book of short stories "Make something up" is worth a look too. 

 Jenny C 15 Jan 2022
In reply to BattyMilk:

Not a short story but for a really good well written book id highly recommend Andy Caves "Learning to Breathe". Husband isn't a reader but really enjoyed this and the writing style flows well so it isn't arduous reading, also being a subject you have interest in will help to keep you motivated.

1
 Stichtplate 15 Jan 2022
In reply to BattyMilk:

Try Thom Jones. I'd start with The Pugilist at Rest. 

Like most short story collections, it's a mixed bag but there are some real gems in there.

 NaCl 15 Jan 2022
In reply to BattyMilk:

Mildly surprised that no one has recommended Stephen King's Skeleton Crew. I'm no horror fan but someone got me to read it and I was very impressed. Think Twilight Zone levels of weird/slightly disquieting rather than gore-being chased stuff. 

He's responsible for writing far more great films than people realize.

 Siward 15 Jan 2022
In reply to BattyMilk:

Roald Dahl's various non children's books. 

In reply to NaCl:

I’ve been on a Stephen King binge recently and loving it with the shining, misery, the green Mile and their respective films. I’d not come across this one. Thanks!

Thanks all for the great suggestions. I’ve managed to find a number of them used on eBay for a few quid each so have probably a years worth of reading heading my way

 deepsoup 15 Jan 2022
In reply to BattyMilk:

If you're up for something a bit fantastical, you could do a lot worse that having a look at Neil Gaiman.  (Starting with 'Smoke and Mirrors'.)

You can read "The Truth Is A Cave In The Black Mountains" for free online, and it's a cracker. 
(Not straight off the website maybe, ugh - I'd copy/paste and print it out if I were you.)

There is a bit of mountaineering, kinda sorta - the 'action' is set on a certain mystical island just off the West coast of Scotland, long before there was any talk of a bridge.  (Before the island could even reliably be found there all the time.)

http://www.fiftytwostories.com/?p=1338

Post edited at 12:43
In reply to BattyMilk:

The Complete Doctor Stories: The Ridiculous Mountains AND Nothing So Simple as Climbing Paperback – 1 Dec. 1997

by G.J.F. Dutton (Author), Albert Rusling (Illustrator)

Not hilarious but amusing and entertaining. You can pick up a copy for less than £1 on Amazon.

 TechnoJim 15 Jan 2022
In reply to BattyMilk:

'The Pier Falls' by Mark Haddon is great collection of short stories, I read it last year and have been recommending it to anyone who will listen ever since. 

 Doug 15 Jan 2022
In reply to BattyMilk:

long time since I've read them but Dermot Somers has published two collections of mountain related short stories which I enjoyed.

https://www.dermotsomers.com/books/

 freeflyer 15 Jan 2022
In reply to BattyMilk:

Get into your local charity bookshops and ask for short stories! Here are some more classical ones than so far posted:

Somerset Maugham short story collections.

Leslie Charteris: the Saint series, they're novels, but short, light weight and a lot of fun, much better than the TV series which avoided the fact that Simon Templar was a crook.

James Blish: Seedling Stars - science fiction.

 Pedro50 15 Jan 2022
In reply to Doug:

The late Anne Sauvy wrote two volumes of mountaineering short stories well worth reading: "The Game of Mountain and Chance" and "Flammes de Pierre". 

Both published in the UK by Ken Wilson who was apparently a fan.

Post edited at 15:25
 Pedro50 15 Jan 2022
In reply to Pedro50:

The Arthur C Clarke collection which contains my favourite "The nine billion names of God" is well worthwhile. 

 Wilderbeest 15 Jan 2022
In reply to BattyMilk:

I got given Ian Rankin’s compilation of Rebus short stories for Christmas and it’s a good read. Funnier than the novels. “The Beat Goes On”

 veteye 15 Jan 2022
In reply to BattyMilk:

I'm a little hooked on the Russian authors. I read and liked Turgenev in the past, and more recently have been interested in Tolstoy. 2 collections both entitled The death of Ivan Ilych and other stories. The other stories are different in each volume. The thing that I'm interested in is Tolstoy's view/approach to women ( a little strange), and of course death.

I've yet to read Chekhov (my friend bought me a collection for Christmas), though I know a couple of the plays.

 DaveHK 15 Jan 2022
In reply to BattyMilk:

The Games Climbers Play and Mirrors in the Cliffs.

 Doug 15 Jan 2022
In reply to Wilderbeest:

> I got given Ian Rankin’s compilation of Rebus short stories for Christmas and it’s a good read. Funnier than the novels. “The Beat Goes On”

There's also a 2nd Rebus collection called 'Beggars Banquet'

In reply to veteye:

I was going to say the same, although it is long since I read any of them. I was interested most in Tolstoy's view of history. Or maybe it was Berlin's take on it that interested me. Can't remember.

Other short story writers worth a look at are DH Lawrence, if you get him the German writer Ingo Schulze for 33 Moments of Happiness, and WG Sebald, another German who spent much of his life in Britain. His The Emigrants isn't short stories as such, but is four short episodes of the lives of Jews who survived the war but never got over it. A fantastic collection I read some time ago was Summerhouse Later by Judith Hermann, at that time a young writer making her debut. Also Lorrie Moore's Birds of America made an impression on me when I read it.

 Myfyr Tomos 15 Jan 2022
In reply to BattyMilk:

Gabe's Fall and Other Climbing Stories by Peter Lars Sandberg. Quite entertaining, in a weird American way...

 summo 15 Jan 2022
In reply to BattyMilk:

Games climbers play

In reply to BattyMilk:

My personal favourites:

Classic climbing and mountaineering in gorgeous prose: Mountaineering in Scotland and Undiscovered Scotland by W H Murray;

Sci-fi: Selected Stories of Philip K Dick: an excellent introduction to his visionary work, featuring a number of classics that have inspired movies like Minority Report and Total Recall;

Watch the birth of a modernist master: Slow Learner by Thomas Pynchon;

The greatest short story collection in the English language: Dubliners by James Joyce.

 toddles 15 Jan 2022
In reply to BattyMilk:

I just finished reading My Favourite Tales of the Sea by Sir Alec Rose and really enjoyed it.

Short stories, which are mainly extracts that lead into other good books.

 AukWalk 15 Jan 2022
In reply to deepsoup:

+1 vote for Neil Gaiman. I really enjoy his style of storytelling and the type of stories he tells. I've listened to more of his work on Audible than I have read it (he's a brilliant narrator), but would recommend him to anyone that doesn't mind the idea of fantasy.

I think the biggest collection of his short stories is called 'The Neil Gaiman Reader', and I'd probably recommend that as the short story collection to buy as it's got a great range, including most of his well known ones I think. 

 Dave Todd 15 Jan 2022
In reply to BattyMilk:

Nothing to do with climbing, but...'Stunning The Punters' by Robert Sproat is a book that I've cherished for 30+ years.

 deepsoup 15 Jan 2022
In reply to AukWalk:

> I think the biggest collection of his short stories is called 'The Neil Gaiman Reader', and I'd probably recommend that as the short story collection to buy as it's got a great range, including most of his well known ones I think. 

Oh yes - I just had a look at what's in it and it seems to have all my favourites.  If it's not twice the price it looks like a much better buy than 'Smoke and Mirrors'. 

1
 Darron 15 Jan 2022
In reply to BattyMilk:

The world of Jeeves by PG Wodehouse should tick the comedy box........or it Bally well should do!

In reply to Tom Valentine:

> Saki, or William Boyd.

I'll second William Boyd.

Carol Shields.

 AukWalk 15 Jan 2022
In reply to deepsoup:

To be fair it does look to be almost twice the price for the paperback, so maybe smoke and mirrors is a better place to start for someone new to Gaiman

 Fredt 15 Jan 2022
In reply to BattyMilk:

Lee Child - No Middle Name: The Complete Collected Jack Reacher Short Stories

Bonington - Quest for Adventure. - Lots of different short adventure accounts.

 Sabilly1 15 Jan 2022
In reply to BattyMilk:

The acid house - irvine welsh

Some out there short stories

 aln 15 Jan 2022
In reply to BattyMilk:

The Golden Apples of the Sun is a collection of 22 short stories by Ray Bradbury. If you only ever read one short story collection in your life it should be this one. All of human life and motivation, the magic and wonder of it, set against a background of small town America. 

 David Alcock 15 Jan 2022
In reply to BattyMilk:

Not Not While the Giro - James Kelman. You'll not regret it. 

In reply to BattyMilk:

I’ve got lots for sale! Especially WH Murray   Drop me an email and I’ll sort you some out? 

In reply to BattyMilk:

China Mieville has an excellent short stories book; got me into all his work which is weird and wonderful!

 Lhod 16 Jan 2022
In reply to BattyMilk:

The Elephant Vanishes is a great intro to Haruki Murakami, if you've not read other books of his before. Personally I'm a big fan, I love his unique descriptions and the blend of realism into surrealism. 

 Moacs 16 Jan 2022
In reply to Siward:

> Roald Dahl's various non children's books. 

OP, you're going to get soooooo many reccos.  You really do need to decide what you like.  Also short stories cover a huge range of lengths. "The grasshopper and the bell cricket" is superb...but only a few pages. "Cannery Row" is equally superb and a couple of hours' read.

 Moacs 16 Jan 2022
In reply to Moacs:

I meant to add that Dahl's wartime stories collections are great.  "over to you", "kiss kiss" etc

 freeflyer 16 Jan 2022
In reply to Offwidth:

> Really enjoyed this:

Damn - must re-read this! Such a contrast with his other work.

 Carless 17 Jan 2022
In reply to BattyMilk:

Not climbing but some of Isaac Asimov's short stories are great: I, Robot, Earth is room enough, Nightfall, etc

 Jonathan Emett 17 Jan 2022
In reply to BattyMilk:

If your tastes extend to the fantastic -

Seeds of time, John Wyndham

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Seeds_of_Time

Unlikely stories, mostly - Alistair gray

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unlikely_Stories,_Mostly

 mattyP 17 Jan 2022
In reply to BattyMilk: Mark Twain

 Tom Last 17 Jan 2022
In reply to BattyMilk:

Borges. The Aleph is good, can't remember the other one.

 Tom Last 17 Jan 2022
In reply to Jonathan Emett:

Seeds of Time is amazing. 

 Tom Last 17 Jan 2022
In reply to Señor Últi:

> Borges. The Aleph is good, can't remember the other one.

Staying on the magical realism theme, I'd recommend Beside the Ocean of Time, by George Mackay Brown which although actually a novel, it's kind of also a collection of short stories in a way and what's more it's fantastic. 

 Tom Last 17 Jan 2022
In reply to BattyMilk:

Ted Chang for Sci Fi. Stories of Your Life and Others. 

In reply to BattyMilk:

David Quammen writes wonderfully quirky stories about nature and evolutionary biology.

Flight of the Iguana and Natural Acts are great collections of short stories.

If you want to read a longer and very relevant book that is arguably a set of related short stories, check out Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic which is about zoonotic diseases. Written post-SARS but pre-COVID.

 kmsands 17 Jan 2022
In reply to BattyMilk:

If you like dark, funny stuff, David Gaffney's books of very short stories, Sawn-off Tales, Aromabingo, and The Half-life of Songs are brilliant. Alexei Sayle is a great short story writer too.

 wercat 18 Jan 2022
In reply to BattyMilk:

Tom Patey's recollections anyone?

In reply to BattyMilk:

> I’ve been on a Stephen King binge recently and loving it with the shining, misery, the green Mile and their respective films. I’d not come across this one. Thanks!

> Thanks all for the great suggestions. I’ve managed to find a number of them used on eBay for a few quid each so have probably a years worth of reading heading my way

Don't forget The Shawshank Redemption, also a King novella.

 streapadair 18 Jan 2022
In reply to BattyMilk:

Jorge Luis Borges. Not to everybody's taste, but I find they can grab you like no other. Funes the Memorious . . .

 jockster 18 Jan 2022
In reply to BattyMilk:

Raymond Carver and John Cheever

 Tom Last 18 Jan 2022
In reply to streapadair:

I really love Borges and found that once I started reading him, he began to appear everywhere somehow. Guess he was good at writing those fancies and daydreams we all have appear in our mind from time to time. 

 Myfyr Tomos 18 Jan 2022
In reply to wercat:

One Man's Mountains. Good call.

 JB 19 Jan 2022
In reply to Andy Clarke:

I would second Dubliners plus also recommend Raymond Carver.

In reply to Pedro50:

> The Arthur C Clarke collection which contains my favourite "The nine billion names of God" is well worthwhile. 

That story has one of the greatest punchlines in all sci-fi. 

In reply to BattyMilk:

These are from different collections:

Ernest Hemingway https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Two-Hearted_River

https://standardebooks.org/ebooks/nikolai-gogol/short-fiction/claud-field_isabel-f-hapgood_vizetelly-and-company_george-tolstoy/text/the-nose

https://www.toa.st/blogs/magazine/mrs-fox-short-story-sarah-hall

Angela Carter’s ‘The Bloody Chamber’ youtube.com/watch?v=48-A3p3VPD0& (1/6)

Kafka’s The Sons comprises two short stories & a novella, which I prefer to his other collections: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=KQjbNP-8mnIC (selective preview)
 

 profitofdoom 06 Feb 2022
In reply to Andy Clarke:

> That story has one of the greatest punchlines in all sci-fi. 

I agree. A remarkable, mind-blowing ending 

 cb294 07 Feb 2022
In reply to BattyMilk:

For science fiction I can really recommend the following anthology:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mammoth_Book_of_Extreme_Science_Fiction

My copy is worn out from reading it again and again.... The Greg Bear story "Judgement Engine" is the most mind blowing piece (in terms of scope) of SF I have ever read. Actually, one other story ("The Days of Solomon Gursky") in the same anthology comes close.

As a selfish thread hijack, if anyone knows that book, I would appreciate recommendations for books in the same style.

Otherwise, Hemingway!

CB

 Baron Weasel 07 Feb 2022
In reply to Myfyr Tomos:

> One Man's Mountains. Good call.

The Art of Down Climbing Gracefully and The Shape of Things to Come are both brilliant bits of satire. Might have to re-read them in the near future!

Post edited at 15:52
 65 07 Feb 2022
In reply to BattyMilk:

Not short stories per se but both books you can read in an evening, especially if you like Wasp Factory type oddness.

Fallow by Daniel Shand 

The Restraint of Beasts by Magnus Mills.

Also, I stayed in an Airbnb recently and there was a book by comedian Limmy called Daft Wee Stories. Mostly really good, very short, read while on the bog type stories. Generally gentle humour, a bit like his act.


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